This is not a time for blame game because no matter who did what, there is no alternative to consensus. So angry as we may be, we still have to be patient and work together.
Then why did the leaders make encouraging remarks on Sunday afternoon saying they were near consensus?
We had proposed a final negotiation on SRC's 14 state and 6 state models and requested the parties to forge consensus on these two documents. We also said that we were ready for multi-ethnic identity federalism with names that reflect common aspirations. This had created an environment for consensus. But some NC and UML leaders looked set to fail the statute drafting process and dissolve the CA. Their demand was clear- there will be no identity based federalism which was unacceptable to us.
Why did you not postpone the federalism issue if it endangered the entire constitution declaration process?
The whole purpose of writing a new constitution was to institutionalise the rights of marginalised communities and without federalism the exercise was meaningless. It is neither fair nor politically wise to go against the aspirations of majority of Nepalis for the sake of a few leaders.
Couldn't you declare the draft of the constitution and then call a referendum?
Until the CA was alive, referendum was impossible because it was a legitimate representative body. We could have tabled the contentious issues for voting in the CA, which would have been more democratic. But the NC and UML categorically refused to take matters to the CA.
What is the way forward?
The tempers are high now and it will take time to subside. But I am confident everyone will realise we have no other option than to hold fresh elections and it will be impossible to have elections unless all parties come together.